Psst…Want An Easy $350?

Regular readers are very aware, from previous posts, that I am a reward points whore.  I’m quick to spread my…wallet…if there’s a good points deal being offered.    
                               
I have six credit cards.  Three are “cash back” and three are airline or hotel cards.  I only use three of those cards regularly; the other three sit a drawer because I applied for them just for the bonus points I received for being approved. If I had to make one purchase for the points, I did that and then put the card in the drawer.   

Since only the Southwest Airlines VISA has an annual fee, it doesn’t cost me to keep the cards.  I’ve not cancelled the unused cards because I’ve read that having a large “unused” credit card balance is good for your credit rating.  I’ve no idea why the cardit cards I don’t use haven’t cancelled me for being a slacker.  Maybe they hope I will suddenly come to life with a vengeance, a la Mt. St. Helens, and justify those bonus points they gave me. I don’t think so…

While checking into one of the Choice hotels last weekend, my eye caught a promo brochure for a Choice-branded VISA card.  Since I’m always scouting for a points deal, I was familiar with the history of the Choice credit card program. 

About a year ago, I looked into getting a Choice credit card.  I figured since Choice is one of the two hotel brands I usually stay at, why not get their credit card? But I could not find anything about a credit credit on their website. That seemed very strange… I assumed every hotel chain had a credit card program.  

After some serious Google searching, I learned that Choice had a credit card program at one time but ended it because it was not doing well. The program would be revised and relaunched but when that would happen was unknown.

So, I got a La Quinta cardit card instead. They gave me enough bonus points for two free nights.  That’s one of the cards sitting in a drawer.  (Actually, in the pocket of a piece of clothing I never wear, so if someone breaks into our house they will be unlikely to find it.)

To my consternation, within two months after I received the La Quinta card, Choice came out with their new credit card.  They were also offering enough bonus points for two free nights for approved applications.  

Since I had just received the La Quinta card, I passed on applying immediately.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to a seventh credit card.  (Besides I might get a “bad reputation”… )

So let’s get back to my seeing the Choice credit card promo brochure at the hotel check-in counter.  I assumed it was the “two free nights” offer but the hidden hand of the reward points gods pushes me to pick up the brochure.  (Remember what I said in a previous post about making your own luck?)  

My eyes widened as I read the details: not two free nights…it is FIVE free nights! Five! A limited time offer.  Expires in early November. Automatic Gold status, which means a bonus on points and ability to book free nights further out.  No annual fee either.

You know what I did… And so now I have seven reward credit cards.  

But to bolster my reputation, and because I think there must be some point at which excessive available credit will hurt my credit rating (which may be irrelevant at my age anyway), I’ve decided that one credit card must go. Which will it be…?

After evaluating the situation, the decision became obvious.  There is one card that I expect never to use: Hilton Honors.  I can’t recall the last time I stayed at a Hilton property. I used to stay at Hampton Inn all the time, especially on business.  But after Hampton Inn joined the Hilton chain, it became a little too aristocratic for my taste. Prices went up but it was still the Hampton Inn.

Once I receive the Choice VISA, I will cancel the Hitlon Honors.  I hope they don’t plead with me to keep the card, that I can slip out quietly in the night. They’ll probably mutter that I’m a reward points whore. And they’ll be right…

But with five free nights, I’m a happy hooker!

Who’s next!?

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One response to “Psst…Want An Easy $350?

  1. The credit card companies are the ones that dangle the carrot. I don’t think it makes you a rewards points whore to take advantage. You just know how to work the system.

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